In an effort to proactively work against substance abuse by teens, the Cheyenne Mountain School District in Colorado Springs, Colorado, will be offering a voluntary drug testing program, to be launched in the 2010-2011 school year, as shared in a feature on The Colorado Springs Gazette.
The school district board arrived at the decision to adopt the policy after discussions that lasted almost two years. The board had initially considered a mandatory drug testing policy which is now in effect in other school districts in Colorado Springs. Discussions about teen substance and alcohol abuse and what ought to be done to effectively address the issue was conducted by the board before finalizing what it is that the district will adopt.
The discussion included soliciting comments and information from parents, students, staff and residents of the district. The consensus was that the district needed to become more proactive in as far as fighting illegal drug abuse and underage drinking is concerned.
In the voluntary drug testing program, parents and guardians are given the prerogative of enrolling their children in the program. Once enrolled, these kids can be subjected to random drug testing. This move will be accompanied by a strengthening of the district’s awareness programs; according to Superintendent Walt Cooper, their goal is to “create a safe, drug- and alcohol-free campus.”
Parents who choose to enroll their children in the program will pay a $30 enrollment fee, although this does not necessarily mean that the student involved will be chosen for testing at random screenings.